As a 1st timer, I'm looking for anyone with previous experience in detecting what REAL CONTRACTIONS feel like. Please be as descriptive as possible, as much as your memory will allow.
I get braxton-hicks (tight uterus, painless), severe back ache, and tender pelvic pressure. I know these are not the real deal (I'm 27 wks), but what does the real deal feel like? I keep hearing it's "painful" - but pain where exactly? what does it feel like?
it feels like a tightening in your tummy area across the entire thing, not centralized. When you're in active labor, you can feel the contractions coming and it's an extreme tenseness..and by extreme, i mean extreme. It kind of feels like you can't breathe.
Additionally, they are also kind of like menstrual cramps but hundreds of times more painful/intense...
real contractions are regular and will come in regular intervals (i.e. 10 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart etc.)
JustDance ~ Congrats on your pregnancy! It looks like you're well on your way! The best advice I can offer to you is to enjoy the remainder of your time being just you...you'll know what I mean three months from now. Enjoy your free time!
As for the contractions...I actually didn't even know I was in labor. My contractions were so minor that they just felt like REALLY BAD menstrual cramps. It felt like I was going to get my period any minute and they were all in my back.
However when I went to the hospital, I was 4 centimeters dialated and completely effaced. The doctor broke my water, started pitocin and I labored for an hour before getting an epidural (highly recommend this! ). The contractions that I felt were very intense...like someone was squeezing my stomache really hard and pressing on my pelvis. The pain was not unbearable, but it was not pleasant. If you decide on an epidural, ask your doctor to keep it turned on. My doctor turned mine off and it's awful if you end up pushing for as long as I did (2 hours). I could sugar coat it for you, but let's face it - you want answers - it's the worst pain you'll ever experience. But you get the best present in the end.
I had a drug/intervention free childbirth and I do not recommended epidurals because they are drugs with side effects and it also gets to the baby while you are in labor. So, in my case, I felt ALL OF THE CONTRACTIONS FROM BEGINNING TO END. I can tell you that I felt period like pains. cramps a few days before I gave birth. I was in the early stages of labor and I didn't realize it until my underwear my always slightly wet, enough to be annoying. I had a pin size hole in my water and I began leaking, so I went in and they told my I was indeed in the early stages of labor and I was going to have a baby. I left the office, went home, went to Target and came back to the hospital. For the first few hours at the hospital I had period like cramping that isn't bad, I can deal with that. In addition to that, my lower back started to feel hot and painful (back labor.) At some point the pain becomes so intense I had to go into my own world to deal with it. I got in and out of a birthing tub in my suite, the water is great for the pain and provided great relief. The contractions and back labor are period cramp like, just they intensify to the extreme. But, as intense as they get, you still get a break between them and I was able to rest completely the minute or two before the next one came. I pushed for two hours, once you get to that point you are on the home stretch and I was focused on pushed as hard as I could. My midwife used herbs and oils to help stretch me with her hands with each push and I am a small person and I had a 7lb 10oz. girl with no tearing or cutting because of my midwife. (She only does about one episotomy a year.)
It was great to me being able to get up on my own and clean myself up and walk down the hall right after it was over and it was great not feeling numb, having no IV's or cathedars. I was just myself and I felt great other than being tired and dehydrated from all of the work I had just done.
Last edited by AlexaIn2006; 07-11-2008 at 10:21 AM.
Reason: Spelling Error
What do contractions feel like. It is a lot like everyone has explained here but something you really have to experience to know the real feeling. I had a drug free birth with my first and an epdural on my second one, not sure what I am going to do with this one. I personally think that giving birth is something you should try and enjoy as much as you can and having the epdural takes the edge of the pain. Don't get me wrong you can still feel the contractions and have enough feeling to push it's not like you are copmpletely numb and can't feel anything it just makes it a more pleasant experience. Anyways when I was in labor with my second one I kept having horrible pains in my hip so bad that they would take me to the ground. I went to the hospital concerned and not thinking I was having contractions but I was and also dialated to a 6 and 90% efaced, so really I think it all depends on the person and preganancy everyone is diffrent and will have a diffrent experience. Good Luck!!